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Light Pollution Harms Wildlife and Is Bad for Stargazing | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

March 10, 2020
Where are the stars? The map above shows the relative amount of light pollution—caused by artificial light reflecting off molecules and aerosols in the atmosphere—occurring across the Earth. Parts of the eastern United States and western Europe (colored red) have an artificial night sky glow over nine times that of the natural sky. In areas marked orange or red, the central band of the Milky Way galaxy is no longer visible. (Image credit: P. Cinzano, F. Falchi, University of Padova; C. D. Elvidge, NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder. Copyright Royal Astronomical Society. Reproduced from the Monthly Notices of the RAS by permission of Blackwell Science.)

International Dark-Sky Association: In many places across the globe, particularly in major cities, the night sky has been reduced from a breathtaking show of hundreds of stars to a diffuse glow through which only a handful of stars can be seen. Light pollution has been a known issue for decades. But we’ve only recently been able to access the tools and technology to better understand which sources contribute the most to light pollution, what impact it has on the natural world (like changing the resting and feeding behavior of wildlife), and how to develop smarter policies to protect the night. In the coming weeks, citizen scientists can participate in Globe at Night, an annual, worldwide, kid-friendly campaign asking individuals to measure the quality of the night sky where they live. You don’t have to leave your backyard (or porch or patio) to take night sky measurements—and reporting results only takes a moment using the handy Globe at Night online web app. Your reported measurements are added to other reports from around the world where they are held in an open-source database. With these measurements, scientists can see how the quality of the night is changing all around the world. Your measurements will help to develop targeted policies and guidelines to help solve the problem of light pollution.
>>>Take part in the worldwide Globe at Night campaign from March 14-24, 2020.

Lady Freethinker: In China’s cruel and dangerous wild animal trade, millions of bats, civets, snakes, badgers, monkeys and other animals face brutal torture and slaughter each year, putting humans at risk of diseases such as rabies and coronavirus, which may have originated at a wild animal market. These markets also often sell dogs and cats, who are stuffed into tiny cages, transported unbearably long distances and bludgeoned to death or burned alive. Finally recognizing the severity of the situation, China has temporarily halted the trade and human consumption of wild animals, but a temporary ban is not enough. China must ban this practice permanently. These innocent animals are subjected to agonizing suffering as they are snatched from their homes and sold to meat markets. The horrendous wildlife trade is also a severe health threat to humans, and conservationists believe the only way to prevent future virus epidemics is to permanently ban this dangerous and unhealthy industry.
>>>Urge Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai to call for a permanent ban on China’s wild animal trade and the consumption of dog and cat meat.

Care2: Evidence shows that more than 2 million child laborers as young as 10 years old work on cocoa farms in West Africa, helping to produce a significant amount of the chocolate consumed in the U.S. That includes chocolate produced for one of the world’s largest candy companies, Hershey’s. As far as child labor goes, cocoa work is considered some of the worst work. Daily tasks include deploying dangerous pesticides, chopping brush and cocoa pods with machetes, and lifting excessively heavy bags. Impoverished kids who are sent to work on these farms are subjected to body-breaking work and do not attend school. Many of these children are also trafficked and forced to lie about their ages under the watchful eyes of coercive farmers. For two decades, chocolate companies have set goals to eradicate child labor on these farms, but they come up short each time.
>>>Urge Hershey’s CEO Michele Buck to guarantee their chocolate isn’t made using child labor.

Letter to the editor…

Taste of terror: Firefighters battle a wildfire in Hidden Valley, California. “This is only a taste of the horror and terror that will occur in decades,” said former California Governor Jerry Brown. The climate crisis has increased the size, intensity and burn area of wildfires. (Photo credit: Daria Devyatkina/Flickr)

Replying to “Insurers Should Support People, Not the Fossil Fuel Industry,” by Tony Dunn:

Thank you so much for this very important article. Here in Australia, I haven’t given a thought about the insurance company I’m insured with. This will change with my next renewal, which is due very soon. I will be asking many questions before they receive any payment from me. I live on a tiny farm amongst bushland in Victoria, Australia, and only discovered your posts by accident a few months ago. I try to read all I can on the issue of our climate emergency and do my best to contribute as little as possible to the harm that we humans do, not only to the environment, but to our fellow human beings. I’m afraid that unless things change rapidly there will be only misery for my grandson’s generation. So thank you for waking me up to another issue and I will endeavor to do my best in that area as well. Sadly, I don’t know many people of my generation willing to make the effort as it isn’t easy to take the steps required to live this way. —Susan Brinksma (Victoria, Australia)

Cause for concern…

Bad growth: Relatively developed economies collectively have no projected emissions growth; all of the projected future growth in energy-related CO2 emissions is from developing countries. (Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2019, September 2019)

Round of applause…

Protecting Fido: While unrelated to the current coronavirus outbreak in humans, canine coronavirus is a highly contagious intestinal disease that infects dogs. (Photo credit: Canine Journal)

Parting thought…

(Photo credit: Bragi Thor/Flickr)

“To treat a chimpanzee as if he or she had no right to liberty protected by habeas corpus is to regard the chimpanzee as entirely lacking independent worth, as a mere resource for human use, a thing the value of which consists exclusively in its usefulness to others.” —Court of Appeals Associate Judge Eugene M. Fahey

Earth | Food | Life (EFL) explores the critical and often interconnected issues facing the climate/environment, food/agriculture and nature/animal rights, and champions action; specifically, how responsible citizens, voters and consumers can help put society on an ethical path of sustainability that respects the rights of all species who call this planet home. EFL emphasizes the idea that everything is connected, so every decision matters.

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